How old is old enough? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-27-2001 Thread Starter
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How old is old enough?

I notice most sailing schools won''t take children under 5-7 but see stories of people crusing with babies (I have a 2 year old and couldn''t imagine having her stuck on a sail boat for long passages without both of us going crazy or having her on board in heavy weather and potentially dangerous situations but I suppose if you''ve grown up on the boat that is a different story). I was wondering when others have started their children sailing and with what results?

I also have started to home schoool and plan to continue doing so using a child based integrational approach to my child''s education and I see world crusing eventually (between 12-16 years old) becoming a large part of the curriculum.

Just curious, anyone know the youngest age of crew in a fastnet?
Marco
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-27-2001
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How old is old enough?

We sailed to Nantucket and back to CT when our son was 3 months old. He did fine in a little bassenet that was wedged between the dinette and the forward seat back.

We had a playpen on top of the lowered dinette table later. Once when we were kind of lost for a moment in Block Island Sound he got into a bag of crackers and smashed them back into flower by the time we checked on him. We found Block as you can tell.

He sailed with us until he got his drivers licence.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-27-2001 Thread Starter
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How old is old enough?

I take my hat off to you if the worst of it was a milled bag of crackers. I have no doubt that your son had a great time growing up, I know I would have loved it but I am also pretty sure that I could have come a cropper hence my questions on how others have managed to do it. At some point they have to come out of the playpen (already at 2 years old mine is too big for most play pens let alone one that I could fit on a boat), what then? Is it that easy to child proof a boat? What about them running about on deck when under way etc at 3-6 years old, do you have to keep them below with the first mate and the skipper taking turns at "watch" throughout? Tie them to the mast;-) (hmmm, sounds like it could come in useful at times :-))) )?

What boat were you guys sailing? Would you have considered him too young at 9-10 to do a transatlantic crossing?
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-17-2001
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How old is old enough?

Check out the book JUST CRUISING by Liz Copeland. A great read about a family cruising adventure.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-19-2001 Thread Starter
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How old is old enough?

Thanks will take a look in a few years when my child is older. Regardless of what other''s have done (and frankly been lucky enough to get away with)I don''t think world cruising with a 2 year old is realistic or, to be blunt, responsible. By that is just my opinion and it will suffice for my child.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-28-2001
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How old is old enough?

Well look at it this way, then why you ask?
It is all about being a responsible adult.
I take my children on outings that most people consider dangerous. My daughters started rock climbing at 3 years old. They started water ski at 7 and today as teenagers are very mature young ladies.

Like all you must teach your toddler properly, you or your significant other must know what to do at all times besides the Ship. It can be a rewarding experience and a way to introduce future sailors to our world.

On the other hand if you wish to stay bound to the land then do so. My children have been around water since they came home from the hospital. They have weathered storms with us as young as 6 months so it is all about what you really feel you can do and can not do.

Good Luck
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-02-2002
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How old is old enough?

I agree with Argos2020. I had my kids rock climbing, swimming, diving, hiking, etc.. as soon as they were physically able to do it. Much to the chagrin of some of my more cautious family. None were hurt and their confidence level was greatly enhanced in the process. Plus, they had some great stories to tell their friends. My grandson began sailing with me when he was 2 yrs old. He has been taught from the beginning that he has to comply with certain rules when on the boat. 1)always wear a PFD. 2) always be harnessed while in the cockpit. 3) never go forward without an adult. Now, as he and I often sail by ourselves, at times, I have to concentrate 100% on a critical task such as reefing or unreefing, docking under power or sail, anchoring or setting sail. When doing this, he has a place, in the cabin sitting down until I call him back out. This way, I don''t have to worry about him and I can focus on the task at hand. We have to teach our kids how to behave in certain situations. They are put in dangerous situations just by riding in the car. The boat is no more dangerous if they are trained for appropriate behavior. You wouldn''t allow your childern to be jumping around in the car while driving down the road. It took several outings to teach Josh how to behave and I didn''t take him out alone until he learned how. I think any age is ok as long as there is ample crew deal with the situation.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-06-2002
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How old is old enough?

we were just lake sailing at the time but #1 grandson was helping ??? me steer the boat 22 footer and five months old. pictures to prove it now he sails the bay with us he is just five but holds a pretty good course after we explained that we wanted to get back intime for dairy queen.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-25-2002
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How old is old enough?

My parents started me sailing before I was born, and this continued until roughly age 15 when we sold the boat. Most of the time we took local weekend trips, but typically there were at least two or three offshore trips across the english channel to Franch or the UK Channel Islands every year.

From a safety perspective, our boats were rigged with netting on the lifelines and I was required to wear a PFD and harness whenever I was topside.

IMHO the younger you start, the more respect you will learn for the sea.

Graham
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